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Energies 2014, 7(12), 8338-8354; doi:10.3390/en7128338

Atmospheric Dispersion of Radioactivity from Nuclear Power Plant Accidents: Global Assessment and Case Study for the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East

1
The Cyprus Institute, 20 Konstantinou Kavafi Street, Aglantzia, Nicosia 2121, Cyprus
2
Max Planck Institute of Chemistry, Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, Mainz 55128, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2014 / Revised: 4 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nuclear Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technologies)
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Abstract

We estimate the contamination risks from the atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides released by severe nuclear power plant accidents using the ECHAM/Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) atmospheric chemistry (EMAC) atmospheric chemistry-general circulation model at high resolution (50 km). We present an overview of global risks and also a case study of nuclear power plants that are currently under construction, planned and proposed in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, a region prone to earthquakes. We implemented continuous emissions from each location, making the simplifying assumption that all potential accidents release the same amount of radioactivity. We simulated atmospheric transport and decay, focusing on 137Cs and 131I as proxies for particulate and gaseous radionuclides, respectively. We present risk maps for potential surface layer concentrations, deposition and doses to humans from the inhalation exposure of 131I. The estimated risks exhibit seasonal variability, with the highest surface level concentrations of gaseous radionuclides in the Northern Hemisphere during winter. View Full-Text
Keywords: nuclear power plant accidents; radioactivity transport modeling; deposition and inhalation risks nuclear power plant accidents; radioactivity transport modeling; deposition and inhalation risks
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Christoudias, T.; Proestos, Y.; Lelieveld, J. Atmospheric Dispersion of Radioactivity from Nuclear Power Plant Accidents: Global Assessment and Case Study for the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Energies 2014, 7, 8338-8354.

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